Sliding into a Black Hole of Depression? Just One Thing Can Stop the Fall

  • We’ve all had them…the times of absolute blackness when it seems the whole world is crashing down on you…or ganging up against you. When you are seeing greener grass on everybody else’s side of the fence, when it seems everything you touch falls apart or goes wrong, when your life looks like a total waste, and you’re wondering, perhaps, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” or even “What the **** am I doing here at all?”

    Those are the dangerous moments, when too many people, tragically, cannot find an answer to those make-or-break questions, and make decisions from which there’s no turning back.

    If we can offer one insight that changes one person’s decision in such a moment – perhaps yours – this newsletter will have served its purpose.

    But what insight can survive the acid test of such a moment?

    One thing: gratitude.

    You may be saying “You’re crazy! At a moment like that, what can you possibly be grateful for?”

    Hear us out….we’re speaking from experience. We’ve fallen into that abyss, too. And we learned that if, in all that darkness, you can find one thing – just one thing – for which you feel gratitude, it can slow the crash. And if you can find another…and perhaps another…and perhaps start to make a list of gratitudes – you can shift yourself into an altogether different emotional field, one of appreciation rather than despair.

    And if you can reach out in that moment to a friend, and just say Thank you for a kind action, you can establish a toehold in connection rather than spinning down the spiral of isolation.

    Try it now – even if you aren’t spiraling into the dark. Find one thing that has blessed your life…perhaps hearing the birds singing when you woke up this morning. Perhaps seeing a loved one’s smile, or seeing sunshine sparkle on the leaves of a tree as you left the house for work. Maybe the taste of your favorite fruit with lunch, or someone letting you move in front of them on the expressway or the checkout line. Perhaps the presence of a loved one in your life.
    Just one thing. Feel the difference?

    Don’t qualify it, don’t argue it out of existence, don’t find reasons why you don’t deserve it. This isn’t about your deserving. It’s about simply being present and aware of one blessing that is present in your life. Give thanks.
    Now find just one more blessing. And another.

    The point isn’t that you’re good enough to be worthy of good things. The point is that you’re an inseparable part of a good universe – part of the dance of all good things. You aren’t separate or alone. The good things that you see around you are part of the cosmic nest that cradles you. And your despair is your loss of connection, your losing your sense of that cradling.

    If you are struggling with depression or despair, try writing a list of gratitudes every evening for the blessings you’ve encountered during the day. Meditate on the blessings in your life every morning. Or carry a journal and jot down each blessing as you experience it. Turn grace at mealtime into a genuine thanks-giving for each plant and animal being that gave its life to sustain yours.

    You can do it, too, moving from despair and isolation to gratitude and connection.

    Just find one thing.

 

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